Welcome to today’s stop on the blog tour for crime mystery, Dark Sky Island (Jennifer Dorey Mystery #2) by Lara Dearman.
My thanks to Trapeze Books and NetGalley for my review copy. You can read my review below.
About the Book
DCI Michael Gilbert is called out to Sark – the world’s first dark sky island – after bones are found on Derrible Bay. He is followed by journalist Jennifer Dorey, driven by a secret in her own past. The remains are decades old, but after a body is discovered Jennifer and Michael fear there may be a killer on the island. Together they follow a dark trail of bad blood and a conspiracy of silence.
Everyone on the island is under suspicion. No one is what they seem. And the murderer could strike again at any time…
Format: Paperback (336 pp.) Publisher: Trapeze
Published: 18th April 2019 Genre: Crime, Mystery
Find Dark Sky Island (Jennifer Dorey Mystery #2) on Goodreads
Dark Sky Island is the second book in Lara Dearman’s ‘Jennifer Dorey Mysteries’ series. As someone who’s not read the first book, The Devil’s Claw, I can assure readers Dark Sky Island works perfectly well as a standalone. However, there are references to events in the first book making me wish I had been able to read The Devil’s Claw first. Having said that, the author clearly left a few plot elements unresolved at the end of The Devil’s Claw so that new readers don’t feel they’ve lost out and readers of the series can (finally) have their curiosity satisfied. Very clever.
I really enjoyed the unusual setting of the book – the Channel Islands of Guernsey and Sark. There’s loads of convincing sounding local detail and information about the history of Sark, in particular. I loved the way the author used the contrast between the seemingly idyllic island of Sark with its bicycles and horse-drawn carts, unspoilt natural landscape and rocky coastline and the brutal reality of murder. There’s an undercurrent of tension too between the locals and more recent arrivals, between old customs and modern developments. Given the only way on and off Sark is by boat, it gives a feeling of a locked room mystery. That sense of claustrophobia is enhanced by the island’s small population, made up of families who have lived there for generations and where pretty much everyone knows everyone else. Plenty of opportunity too for past feuds, long-held grievances and secrets in what Jenny refers to at one point as ‘this twisted paradise, with its shadowy figures and their veiled threats‘.
Through the alternating narratives of Jenny and Michael, as well as a few other characters whose part in the story is not immediately obvious, the reader follows the course of the police investigation into the identity of remains found hidden in a cave and the murder of a local man. In addition, Jenny has a very personal mystery she needs answers to. Are they connected? You’ll have to read Dark Sky Island to find out but what I can say is that as the book progresses the revelations comes thick and fast. There were also a few ‘I wouldn’t do that, Jenny/Michael, if I were you’ moments to get the pulse racing as the story builds to its dramatic conclusion. And you never can tell, can you, who’s a goodie and who’s a baddie?
I really enjoyed Dark Sky Island and as the author definitely seems to have left a few loose threads at the end of the book, I’m hopeful this isn’t the last story featuring Jennifer.
I received a review copy courtesy of publishers, Trapeze, and NetGalley.
In three words: Gripping, atmospheric, suspenseful
Try something similar…The Temptation by Vera Morris (read my review here)
About the Author
(Bio courtesy of author website) Lara was born and raised on the Channel Island of Guernsey. She moved to the UK to study International Relations and French at the University of Sussex, after which she endured a brief career in finance before giving it up to be a stay at home mum to her three children. A short course in Creative Writing at Richmond Adult Community College led to Lara studying for a Masters in Creative Writing at St Mary’s University, London. She graduated in 2016 with a distinction.
Having moved from Guernsey to Brighton to London to Paris to Singapore and back to London over the last fifteen years, she has now settled in Westchester, New York, with her family. Her first novel, The Devil’s Claw, combines her love of Guernsey, myths and folklore with her obsession with crime fiction and serial killers. In the sequel, Dark Sky Island, murder and mystery arrive on the beautiful and isolated island of Sark. (Photo credit: Goodreads author page)
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